Appeal update

In April of 2020 we launched an appeal for money and support to help us to save parts of the burial ground that were deteriorating beyond reasonable hope of saving them in the future. We set out a three year conservation and repair plan and had sufficient funds to employ a conservation architect to ensure that all the work would be carried out to the highest conservation standards. 


Thanks to the generosity of local and national funding bodies, donors and Friends, we have raised sufficient funds in the last twelve months to begin the restoration of the physical fabric of the Burial Ground. 

Completed April 2020—2021

Inscriptions are delaminating

Rough access has now been  improved

The headstones recording the names of the interred are the heart of the cemetery and are under pressure from weather and natural decay. Some of the headstones to the graves are 'delaminating', meaning that the lettering is coming away from the stone slab. In other cases the stone slabs themselves are eroding due to years of rain and weather. 


Thanks to donations from the Leche Trust and the Bath World Heritage Enhancement Fund, we have been able recently to undertake specialist repairs to the two rare table tombs at the entrance to the burial ground, and to stabilise the most severe decay to 20 of the other headstones.


The iron gates were rusting away over time and no longer closed properly, but thanks to a grant from the Leche Trust they have now been restored and repaired by a specialist firm. 

The very overgrown self-seeded goat willow tree has been professionally pollarded to increase light and restrict further displacement of the surrounding tombs.

The entrance to the Burial Ground was very rough and uneven. With the support of a grant from the Combe Down Heritage Association, we were able to level the area immediately inside the gates to improve access. Further work is required in phase 2. 

 

Next stages

Ceiling and walls of the cottage will be restored during 2021

Phase 2: 2021

We want now to transform restore the 18th-century outbuilding (home to many generations of quarrymen, agricultural labourers and their families) and bring it back into use as an informational display within our heritage site. This means replacing the many cracked and crumbling floor slabs, making good the internal walls with lime plaster, reinstating the internal ceiling which has collapsed and installing lighting. This will cost about £21,000. Thanks to the generous support of donors, friends and the Pilgrim Trust, we are progressing towards this target. We are awaiting the outcome of one more grant application and are optimistic we will raise the remaining funds to complete the work in the next twelve months.

All the boundary walls to the burial ground are badly in need of being repointed and repaired, both for stability and because it gives a sadly decayed appearance to the burial ground when viewed from the street. Our first priority is the external boundary wall with Bradford Road. We are awaiting the final outcome of an application to BANES (our local authority) for money from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which if approved will enable the work to be carried out this summer

The next task is to remove the large amount of builders' rubble at the back of the Burial Ground. It is pressing against some of the headstones and is very unsightly. We raised enough money at our Open Day from donations and sales of our new leaflet to hire a skip and some labour to help us do this. We are thinking of planting some wild flowers here as well as creating a small seating area with a new bench. This will probably cost a further £1,500 which we will need to raise. 

To continue to improve access to the Burial Ground for visitors. More paving and improvements to the shallow steps are required. We think this will cost about £4,000 and still need to raise money for this work.

Phase 3: 2022

The final phase of our work will be to restore all the boundary walls.

Some parts of the internal walls are badly damaged and need to be repaired. We have not yet fully costed the work but think about £30,000 is needed.

Research and education

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Beyond the vital maintenance of the fabric of the burial ground, we are working hard to better document the people buried here, find out who they were, why they came to Bath, and what happened to their family. This means detailed photography of the headstones, translation and analysis of the texts, researching the genealogy of the people and their families, and producing online and printed materials. 


When this is complete we shall be publishing a book, which has been funded by a grant from the Jewish Historical Society for England, but it is likely that we shall need additional funds for the cost of professional and local authority fees and for specialist photography of the headstones and - we hope - use of scientific radar to locate as-yet unidentified graves.

Please help

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